Kansas City, Mo.- based company grows Schönox in marketplace

FLORENCE, AL – DEC 4, 2018 Schönox, HPS North America, has announced that Superior Surface Solutions, a company based in Kansas City, Mo, has joined the Schönox family as a new distributor.

“Superior Surface Solutions is a perfect fit for Schönox with our unique line of problem-solving products,” said Brandon Hagen, a Regional Vice President for Schönox.

Superior Surface Solutions was founded in 1990 by Webster Ryan; it specializes in a wide range of equipment, tools, and supplies for floor prep.

“We at Superior Surface Solutions are excited to become members of the Schönox family. We take pride in finding new products that deliver superior value and are confident that Schönox’s products will meet or exceed our customer’s expectations. Having our customers tell us how well the products we recommended worked is incredibly satisfying. We are already hearing good things about Schönox products from our customers which is motivation to get more of our customers to try Schönox’s products.”

“Like us, Webster isn’t afraid to get on site and provide recommendations to even the most challenging of subfloor conditions,” said Hagen. “Marry that with training, education, and a focus on service, and the potential for growth in the region is very exciting for us. Further, Superior Surface Solutions provides a marketplace for independent contractors and installers.”

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ABOUT HPS SCHÖNOX Schönox, HPS North America, a business unit of HPS North America, is a customer- oriented, entrepreneurial, high-tech company that specializes in building materials suited for new buildings as well as for renovation. Innovative materials include primers and moisture mitigation systems, subfloor repair products, floor leveling compounds, adhesives, and waterproofing materials for installing all types of floor coverings.

ABOUT SUPERIOR SURFACE SOLUTIONS Located in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, Superior Surface Solutions was founded in 1990 by Webster Ryan. Superior Surface Solutions is a premier distributor that carries a wide range of equipment, tools and supplies for floor prep. The company sells products across the United States and provides certified technical training seminars on a regular basis to teach best practices to industry craftsmen.


Crossville Introduces the New

New Website Created with Interior Designers and Specifiers In Mind

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Officials with Crossville, Inc. have announced the launch of the company’s new website. The new site is now live at Crossville’s longstanding domain,

“We built the new to offer designer-driven resources,” explained Lindsey Waldrep, Crossville’s vice president of marketing. “From enhanced search and a new sample ordering interface to a cleaner, tighter repository of tools and assets for designers, this site is an entirely new experience that will simplify the selection and specification process.”

The site’s features were developed based on input from commercial interior designers. Crossville conducted surveys and interviews with designers, as well as A&D sales representatives across the nation, to identify what functionality is essential for professionals who select and specify tile.

“Resoundingly, designers asked for large photography to be able to see all the details in our tile collections,” Waldrep shared. “We’ve answered that demand in the new Images are big to show the unique nuances of our tiles.”

The robust Crossville library makes product materials—Revit files, general brochures, safety data sheets, installation guides, and technical information—simple to browse and download. The Project Gallery features product-in-use case studies organized by facility type, complete with photography to offer designers inspiration for their upcoming projects.

With the new sample ordering interface, site visitors can create accounts to track their order histories and save shipping information to make their requests quicker and more efficient.

Additionally, the site is designed to be as simple to navigate on mobile devices as it is on desktop computers.

“The user experience is paramount in every aspect of our new website. We’ve created a platform that’s visually inviting, simple to navigate, and mobile-friendly,” summarized Waldrep. “It has everything specifiers and designers need to make tile selections with utmost confidence.”

View the new site at Find images to post of the new site by clicking here.

Portobello America, Inc. to locate US headquarters and production facility in Baxter, Tenn.

Ceramic tile manufacturer to create 220 jobs with $150 million investment

BAXTER, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Portobello America, Inc. officials announced today that the company will locate its U.S. headquarters and first U.S. production facility in Baxter. The ceramic tile manufacturer will create 220 jobs and invest approximately $150 million in Putnam County, which represents the largest announcement in Baxter during the Haslam administration.

“Portobello’s decision to locate its new production facility and U.S. headquarters and create more than 200 in Baxter will be transformational for the community,” Haslam said. “In Tennessee, we have created a business-friendly environment that promotes growth in all of our communities across the state and I appreciate Portobello for seeing what great assets Tennessee and Putnam County have to offer. I look forward to seeing this company succeed in our state and with investments like this, Tennessee will lead in the creation of high-quality jobs.”

“I appreciate Brazil-based Portobello for selecting Tennessee as the home of its first U.S. production facility and its new U.S. headquarters,” Rolfe said. “Tennessee places a major emphasis on foreign direct investment and Brazilian companies have been a great investment partners in Tennessee. There are 13 Brazilian companies currently located in our state, employing approximately 2,000 Tennesseans. I thank Portobello for making this major announcement in Baxter and for creating 220 new high quality, family-wage jobs in Putnam County.”

Portobello, headquartered in Brazil, is the largest tile manufacturer in Brazil. The company serves countries on five continents and internal markets through multi-brand retailers, the Portobello Shop franchise and sales channel for engineering. Portobello has more than 2,600 employees, responsible for the design and innovation of items that launch trends in architecture and interior design in Brazil.

“Growing and developing in the American market, incorporating the local culture, generating job opportunities and investments through an integrated business model, from production to partnership with distributors, is what guides this new challenge,” Portobello President Cesar Gomes, Junior said. “We are proud to present Portobello America. We believe in the strategy, the market potential and, above all, the combination of our know-how with the American team and culture.”

Portobello will locate its new operations on the Tennessee Motor Speedway site in Putnam County, where the company will build a new facility. Construction on the facility is set to be complete by 2021.

“Portobello represents the largest capital investment for a manufacturing project in our county’s history, and we thank them for becoming our newest economic development partner,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said. “I’m proud of all the work that went into getting us to this point and our team is ready to continue working with Portobello for many years to come.”

“I want to thank Portobello for committing to the future of Baxter,” Baxter Mayor John Martin said. “We have been dedicated to growing our city for a long time and I’m so proud that we’re seeing the fruits of the work that we’ve put in. We look forward to a long partnership that will create tremendous economic impact for our citizens.”

“We thank Portobello for committing to investing in our region and for the over 200 jobs they will be creating. We’ve had our eye on this market segment for some time and we couldn’t think of a better company than Portobello to join our community,” Highlands Economic Partnership President and CEO George Halford said.

“TVA and Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation congratulate Portobello on its decision to locate its first US manufacturing facility in Putnam County,” said TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley. “Helping to facilitate job creation if fundamental to TVA’s mission of service and we are proud to partner with Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Highlands Economic Development Partnership, City of Baxter, Putnam County, and Portobello to help further that mission.”

Baxter and Putnam County are represented by Sen. Paul Bailey (R – Sparta), Rep. Cameron Sexton (R – Crossville) and Rep. Ryan Williams (R – Cookeville) in the Tennessee General Assembly.


Scott Conwell Elected to CSI College of Fellows

The 2018 Jury of Fellows of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) has elected Scott Conwell of International Masonry Institute to its College of Fellows.  He received this distinction in October 2018 at CONSTRUCT, CSI’s national conference in Long Beach, California.












At the investiture ceremony CSI stated, “For your dedication to and passion for quality tile and masonry as evidenced by your role with the International Masonry Institute in developing a new ANSI Standard on Gauged Porcelain Tile and IMI’s Masonry Detailing Series; being an advocate for qualified labor and installation standards leading to the creation of seven tile installer certifications referenced by the Tile Council of North America; and as a frequent speaker to CSI and numerous other organizations on tile and masonry detailing, you are advanced to Fellowship in the Institute.”  Conwell is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).


PROFILITEC, Italian producer of state-of-the-art floor profiles and related installation solutions, has a new place to call home… just a few kilometers away from its original location in the province of Vicenza, in the town of Isola Vicentina.

Profilitec’s new Italian facility.















The result of continuous volume increase and a constant product range expansions, prompted PROFILITEC’s management team to relocate operations to a new 130,000 square-foot facility. This new logistics and production hub contains offers more than double the workspace of the previous building. The new structure is the next stepping-stone in PROFILITEC’s growth and development, which dates back to 1966. It clearly positions the company as a leader in the most important international markets.

PROFILITEC’s President & CEO/Owner Roderick Egli, stated, “After opening the company’s American branch, Profilitec Corp. in New York in July 2016, this is the second fundamental step towards strengthening PROFILITEC’s growth. Our company has a strong international vocation, yet this investment is a testament to our strong bond with Italy and its production system, historically the hotbed of technological innovation and design, appreciated and recognized throughout the world.”

Alessandro Fabris, PROFILITEC’s Sales, Marketing and Business Development Director added, “The building was designed according to modern standards, which can respond to the ever-changing business needs, providing for the doubling of finished products warehouse and office space. Some processes, originally outsourced, are now produced here, with an improvement in efficiency and customer service. Everything is automated. “

The plant features the latest in sustainable building materials and technologies, including the capacity to produce aluminum/brass/aluminum and PVC products. In addition to increased production, Profilitec now has a place for extensive product training, customer visits, industry meetings and more importantly, specific areas for research, development and continued testing for its product lines.

Egli concluded, “As our company continues to grow and expand with sales and new innovative products, we plan to continue this great adventure and eventually, double the space of this facility.”

NSI Completes 17th Home with Gary Sinise Foundation

Oberlin, OH, November 13, 2018—The Natural Stone Institute has provided natural stone and fabrication services for its seventeenth home with the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence Supporting Empowerment). The R.I.S.E. program builds specially adapted smart homes for severely wounded veterans and first responders. Natural stone, fabrication, and installation for US Army Sergeant Legrand Strickland in Missouri were provided by Global Granite & Marble, Murphy Marble, Ford Marble, and Earthworks.

U.S. Army Sergeant Legrand Strickland (Ret) with wife Carrie and new specially-adapted smart home.

Born in Minnesota and raised in Missouri, United States Army Sergeant Legrand Strickland (Ret.) joined the Army two years out of high school. After his first enlistment, he entered the National Guard as an Infantry Rifleman. He then graduated college while in the Guard with a degree in graphic design. Upon re-enlistment, Legrand was a part of the 82nd Airborne Division. Returning from a mission in Zabul, Afghanistan on February 2, 2010, Legrand witnessed an improvised explosive device (IED) strike his Commander’s vehicle ahead of him. His Commander survived the blast and joined Legrand in his vehicle. As they drove away, Legrand’s last memory is being struck by another large explosive. Legrand survived, but his Commander and the driver did not. In critical condition, Legrand was flown to the nearest hospital, then to Germany, then to Ft. Sam Houston Brooke Army Medical Center. He sustained many injuries, including bilateral above-knee amputations and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Laura Grandlienard (ROCKin’teriors), chair of the Natural Stone Institute R.I.S.E. committee said: “Being involved with the R.I.S.E. program enables our industry to take a leadership role in supporting these veterans and their families who have endured so much to protect our freedoms. We feel tremendous pride in sharing our talents for such an important cause. It’s a beautiful feeling to say ‘welcome home’ to these heroes.”

44 Natural Stone Institute members have donated their time, products, and services to this cause since 2016. A list of all donors can be found at Stone companies interested in getting involved with future projects are encouraged to contact Pam Hammond at [email protected].

NEPAL by Ege is soft to the touch and soft on the eyes


Ege Seramik’s new NEPAL Line offers an elegant matte finish characterized by a fashionable surface, which has a velvety texture and is soft to the touch.

Offering unlimited design flexibility for both wall and floor, NEPAL is available in an array of sizes with its 4×13” “subway” wall tiles spearheading the entire collection. The tiles are available in Cream, Brown, Grey and Cappuccino colors, with coordinating bullnose edges, as needed.

Additional NEPAL sizes include:

  • 4×13” Wall tile – Ceramic
  • 10×16” Wall tile – Ceramic
  • 13×13”– Glazed Porcelain
  • 12×24” Glazed Porcelain
  • 18×18”  Glazed Porcelain

Ege Seramik’s General Manager, Alp Er added, “Our intricate ink-jet techniques and state-of-the-art manufacturing assures all customers of an extremely durable, stain and fade-resistant product.

“The tiles are soft to the touch and very inviting… ideal for both residential and commercial applications,” he said. “They offer the personality and feel of natural stone, but with the strength and durability of a porcelain tile.”

For more information, visit

Ege Seramik’s Nepal, in 4″ x 13″.


LATICRETE products star in DIY Network’s Bargain Mansions

Home restoration expert Tamara Day restores Kansas City’s

hidden gems using LATICRETEⓇ products

November 27, 2018, Bethany, Conn. — With the help of designer and host Tamara Day of Bargain Mansions, deteriorated estates in the Kansas City area are returning to their former glory, but with all the modern conveniences expected by today’s homeowner. Premiering its second season this fall on DIY Network, Bargain Mansions utilized products from LATICRETE, a leading manufacturer of globally proven construction solutions for the building industry, throughout the entire season.

Tamara Day of Bargain Mansions with LATICRETE’s STRATA_HEAT.

“Through Bargain Mansions, viewers have the opportunity to see how LATICRETEⓇ products can benefit residential design in home restoration projects, including multiple colors of the new READY-TO-USE™ Grout in laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and on fireplaces. The new STRATA_HEAT™ electric radiant floor heating system is being used to heat a large basement and master bathroom, an added luxury — or necessity — during chilly Midwestern winters,” said Maria Oliveira, LATICRETE Senior Manager, Marketing Communications.


Growing up in the construction trade, Tamara first became involved in restoration work by helping her father, Ward Schrader, maintain and repair her family’s Kansas farm buildings structures. The season follows Tamara and her team as they purchase six homes for a fraction of their original worth and restore them with modern amenities, while keeping authentic features such as exposed brick walls and original staircases, to attract buyers. Tamara’s father can be seen by her side as her mentor.


“Tamara’s work embodies innovation, family values and creativity — values that LATICRETE has instilled in our own company family since our founding in 1956,” added Oliveira.


Bargain Mansions will premiere on DIY Network on November 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Bargain Mansions can also be streamed via the network app, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Video, VUDU and Google Play.


Island Stone Welcomes Jeff Nibler as New Chief Operations Officer and President of Sales

(Santa Cruz, CA, November 6, 2018) Island Stone, known for its range of glass, stone and wood tile that reflects nature’s raw appeal, announces the appointment of Jeff Nibler as its new COO and president of sales, effective immediately. In his new role at the company’s Santa Cruz, California headquarters, Nibler will apply his collaborative approach to problem solving in helping Island Stone’s sales team provide the highest level of customer service, sales, and product quality to their customers. His focus will also center on perfecting product launches and elevating internal organization.

Jeff Nibler, Island Stone

Nibler brings 16 years of experience in the tile industry to Island Stone, having worked his way up through inside sales, customer service, outside sales, management, and, finally, vice president of sales for a San Diego-based glass tile company. A graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in business administration and focus on management information systems, Nibler’s passion for customer service will make strengthening dealer relationships a priority as he continues to make the seamless transition to Island Stone.

“Jeff’s leadership and unique skill set will strengthen our team and brand, and we’re excited to support him as he forges a new path in helping us make and get some of the coolest tile product in the industry into the hands of our customers,” says Paul Sepulveda, National Sales Manager of Island Stone.

The Belknap White Group to represent Questech


White niche, Classic Polished White.


Mansfield, Massachusetts. The Belknap White Group (BWG), one of America’s leading full-service flooring distributors, has announced it will be distributing Questech’s Dorset™ Collection throughout all of New England, New York and New Jersey… effective immediately.

Starlight Mosaic, with border.

Vista Mosaic, Cityscape Tile and Magnetic Wall Plate.



















Questech is the world’s leading maker of decorative tiles and accessories in cast metal and cast stone. Recognized for superior design, innovation and craftsmanship, Questech produces high-quality products in premium materials for architects, builders, home designers and consumers. For more than a quarter-century, Questech products have been expertly crafted with pride in Vermont, USA. All materials are sourced in the USA and contain real premium metals and natural stones.

Soapstone, with Cityscape Copper, Hammered.


“In addition to the incredibly innovative and extensive product offerings from Questech, we truly appreciate the tiles are made right here in the USA,” stated Dave Godlewski, Vice President of Ceramic at The Belknap White Group. “Our team puts a lot of effort into scouting and ultimately, providing materials that meet trending products. Couple that with ‘Made in America’ and we have a win-win situation for everyone.”


The Dorset™ Collection from Questech includes a comprehensive range of products including cast stone tiles, cast metal tiles, and a wide offering of decorative accessories, as well.


Peter Schelle, Vice President of Sales at Questech commented, “We are very enthusiastic about working with the Belknap White Group. With their keen marketing and business plan combined with our extensive line of our products, which deliver some ‘bling’ to their showrooms, everyone prospers. From our gorgeous metal and stone bath shelves to decorative liners and wall plates, the Belknap White Group now has all the finishing touches to offer their customers.”

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